Document Detail

Recognition by forensic facial approximation: case specific examples and empirical tests.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15955649     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The skeletal remains of one individual found near Adelaide in 1994, although not known at the time, were the first evidence of what was to be a serial killing reported to have resulted in the highest casualty list to date in Australia (12 victims). Since the usual methods of identification could not be used or were unsuccessful on these remains, facial approximations were produced and advertised over the 4-year period following their discovery, in an attempt to help to identify them. However, no identification was made. In 1999, the remains were reported to be identified by radiographic comparison. Approximately 3 months before this identification was made, another facial approximation was produced by the first author (CNS), but this face was never advertised in the media. Although rarely reported in the literature, this paper provides an example where facial approximation methods were not successful in a forensic scenario. The paper also reports on empirical tests of the facial approximation created by the first author to determine if this facial approximation might have been useful had it been advertised. The results provide further evidence that high resemblance of a facial approximation to the target individual does not indicate recognizability, as the facial approximation was poorly recognized even though it bore good resemblance to the target individual. The usefulness of facial approximation techniques is discussed within the context of this case and more broadly. Methods used to assess the accuracy of facial approximations are also discussed and further evaluated.
C N Stephan; M Henneberg
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2005-06-13
Journal Detail:
Title:  Forensic science international     Volume:  156     ISSN:  0379-0738     ISO Abbreviation:  Forensic Sci. Int.     Publication Date:  2006 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-01-13     Completed Date:  2006-03-23     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7902034     Medline TA:  Forensic Sci Int     Country:  Ireland    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  182-91     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Anatomical Sciences, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia 5005.
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MeSH Terms
Crime Victims*
Face / anatomy & histology*
Forensic Anthropology / methods*
Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
Models, Anatomic*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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